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PhD Studentship - Cold Spray Deposition of Precipitation-Hardenable Aluminium Alloys for Structural Repairs

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  • Full or part time
    Dr H Lovelock
    Dr T Hussain
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round

About This PhD Project

Project Description

Applications are invited from suitably qualified graduates for a fully funded PhD studentship within the top-rated Materials Research Group in the UK. This project is part funded by The Welding Institute (TWI) through an Industrial CASE award for 4 years.

Magnesium alloys are widely used in the aerospace industry for the good strength to weight ratio; however, Mg alloy components can suffer damage in service due to corrosion and/or wear. Over the past ten years, significant research investment globally has led to cold spray technology being approved for use as a repair technique for the dimensional (non-load-bearing) restoration of both Al and Mg alloy components.

In cold gas dynamic spray, usually referred to as cold spray, a fine metallic powder (typically 95%). NSIRC has a new state-of-the-art cold spray system which will be used in this project.

The overall aim of this project is to develop cold spray powders and process parameters to deposit precipitation-hardenable Al alloys for structural repair applications. This requires deposits with low porosity, good yield strength, adequate fatigue life and good bonding to the substrate. Post-deposition techniques such as heat treatment, laser surface melting, electron beam processing and friction stir welding may also be explored to consolidate porosity and improve inter-particle bonding. The ultimate goal of this challenging PhD is to study and improve the mechanical properties of the cold sprayed Al deposits.

About University/Department

The University of Nottingham’s Faculty of Engineering is one of the premier engineering faculties in the UK. The Faculty conducts research that has been recognised as being world-leading or internationally excellent. In the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014) the Faculty of Engineering at Nottingham ranked 3rd in the General Engineering Panel, with 89% of its research output classified as world leading or internationally excellent in quality. The Faculty is a vibrant and supportive environment in which to work. It provides state-of-the art experimental and computational facilities and attracts leading scholars from around the world, many of whom are leaders in their fields


NSIRC is a state-of-the-art postgraduate engineering facility established and managed by TWI in Cambridge. The student will be supported and mentored by a team of specialist staff in TWI’s Surface Engineering section who between them have over 90 years’ industrial and applied research experience in thermal and cold spray. NSIRC aims to deliver cutting edge research and highly qualified personnel to its key industrial partners.

Candidates should have a relevant degree at 2.1 minimum, or an equivalent overseas degree in Chemistry, Applied Chemistry, Metallurgy, Mechanical/Structural Engineering, Material Science or Physics. Candidates with suitable work experience and strong capacity in analytical modelling and experimental skills are particularly welcome to apply. Overseas applicants should also submit IELTS results (minimum 6.5) if applicable.

Funding Notes

This project is funded by TWI and the University of Nottingham. The studentship will provide successful Home/EU students with a stipend of £16k/year and will cover the cost of tuition fees.

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